Centre said no to award 26/11 Bomb Detection and Disposal Squad fighters, Maharashtra government tells Bombay High Court

Tuesday, 10 December 2013 - 11:46am IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA

The state government on Monday told Bombay High Court that the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has turned down its recommendation to honour 19 Bomb Detection and Disposal Squad (BDDS) personnel of Mumbai police for their contribution during the 26/11 terror attack.

Additional public prosecutor Aruna Pai-Kamat submitted a communication dated November 12, informing that the home department’s proposal that then BDDS inspector Steven Anthony and 18 others be honoured wasn’t approved by the Centre.

A division bench of the court has now allowed former journalist Ketan Tirodkar, based on whose public interest litigation (PIL) the state had sent the proposal to the MHA, to amend his petition so as to incorporate the challenge to the November 12 MHA communication.

In October, the state forwarded a fresh proposal, recommending names of 19 personnel, after the department realised that the file incorporating its 2009 communication to MHA on awarding the BDDS personnel was lost in the Mantralaya fire.

In all, 20 police personnel died in the attacks but only three senior police officers — ATS chief Hemant Karkare, additional commissioner Ashok Kamte and encounter specialist Vijay Salaskar — have been posthumously awarded the Ashok Chakra.

According to Tirodkar, BDDS personnel did an outstanding job by diffusing nearly 29 hand grenades and, so, all of them should be honoured. The PIL said, “The state government should recommend their case for posthumous award as they too lost their lives...”

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